Food and Trees for Africa (FTFA) will be planting 1500 trees at the newly built Lerato Park, Kimberley on 24 March 2017. This initiative has been made possible by the funding from the National Lotteries Commission (NLC) of a substantial amount of R249 600. The trees will be planted in the newly built low-income development of Lerato Park in Kimberley. Some of 100 homeowners only received their title deeds in December 2016 – and are now receiving trees to beautify and shade their new homes.
This planting takes place shortly after South Africa’s Humans Rights Day and the International Day of the Forests which both fall on the 21 March 2017. This tree planting provides an opportunity to commemorate Human Rights Day in South Africa and also bolster the environmental rights of those living in the Lerato Park community.
“In a few years, we expect to revisit the community and be greeted with tree lined streets, hanging with fruit. The trees have the potential to shade and cool the suburb and purify the air – eventually creating an urban forest for the benefit of all residents.” Says Emily Jones, FTFA’s Trees and Carbon Manager
Planting Urban Forests in drought conditions
With persistent drought conditions in parts of the country, South Africa does not need to stop planting trees. It is possible to plant a thriving urban forest even in dry conditions. Food & Trees For Africa uses permaculture techniques such as mulching to reduce the water needs of newly planted trees. Communities are trained to re-use their grey water to water trees, as well as to plant with 2L bottles to decrease watering needs. Employing all these methods makes it possible to plant trees that will thrive despite in drought conditions.